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Maturity Quadrant

The Maturity Quadrant is a tool for departments to gauge their current capabilities, define their growth strategy, and track progress. The Quadrant is created by measuring utilization and maturity and categorizes departments into four types: Ad Hoc, Factory, Specialist, and Enterprise.

Ad Hoc: These departments are typically established as an offshoot of another function, have been established recently, or struggle to retain talent. Team members are often trained in the principles of data analytics but workflows are poorly defined. The impact of the department is measured in war stories and token successes, not consistent metrics. Budgets are likely allocated based on the requirements of specific triggering events.

Most departments in this quadrant are either working towards a preferred future state or are run as an afterthought.

Factory: These departments have well-functioning teams, consistent workflows, and cutting-edge technology. They are focused on optimizing the delivery of a specific set of services. This focus allows them to maximize utilization, thereby controlling the cost of delivering these services. Team members have specific roles within a managed process, which ensures consistency, efficiency, and quality. Impact is measured in client satisfaction, profit margins, and the ability to win incremental projects.

Most departments in this quadrant are either looking for ways to reduce marginal cost to compete within their established industry, or are looking for additional use cases that their team can support. The first scenario represents a move further to the right—increasing utilization—while the second represents a move up, increasing maturity.

Specialist: These departments have a strong command of advanced features and technologies, targeted for select use cases. As a result, they are often able to support extreme scenarios within multiple use cases, such as complex data sets, urgent timelines, sophisticated search and investigation strategies, and more. Processes may be well-defined or teams may have several well-rounded experts on staff. Impact is measured in the number of high-priority projects resolved while a lower priority is placed on operational efficiency or controlling marginal cost. It is also common for these teams to have limited resources dedicated to administration or advocacy. Instead, they're often selective about projects so that their resources are available when an urgent task arises.

Most departments in this quadrant are either looking to subsidize existing budgets by increasing utilization or are limited in their ability to support additional projects. Constraints may be created by legacy technology, lack of appropriately designed workflow, or an inability to appropriately administer a multi-use case department.

Enterprise: These departments exhibit high degrees of maturity as well as significant utilization. They likely support multiple use cases, with a matrixed team of technical and subject matter experts. They likely have an established platform and workflows, with options to escalate and accelerate projects when appropriate. While these teams often have the resources to handle a significant majority of casework, they often also partner with third parties who provide additional capacity and expertise in a more cost-effective manner. The impact of these departments is measured in several ways depending on the requirements of the use case.

It is rare for departments to progress directly from Ad Hoc to Enterprise. Instead, most departments will purposefully move either into a Factory or a Specialist model, show value from that transition, and then build on their success.

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